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APA020: Where Can I Go Fishing?

If you landed on these shores from Australia would you know where you could go lure fishing for pike and perch and what is required? This is the scenario Blake finds himself in. Here is his question…

Hey mate, I’m an Aussie living in west London and I’m having some fishing problems…and by that I mean I’m not doing any fishing at all. Back home you can fish wherever you want as long as you pay $25 a year for a license. I have brought all my fishing gear from home (8 rods, 10 reels and close to 100 different lures). I would like to catch pike and perch but have no idea how to go about it, I did mostly trout fishing at home but it seems over here you can only do that with fly gear which I have no interest in. Do you know where I can catch pike with spin gear and lures on or around London? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Welcome to England Blake. I have been to Perth in Australia twice. I was lucky enough to spend some time sea fishing thanks to some very generous Aussies. They looked after me like family and I will always be grateful.

We spent two weeks up at Coral Bay trolling for Spanish Mackerel, Sailfish and other stuff. We were very lucky to experience a wide variety of sea life on the Ningaloo Reef. We saw a Dugong (sea cow similar to a manatee), a Manta Ray and a group of Tiger Sharks balling up and feeding on Tuna. The most exciting and nerve wracking spectacle happened when a pod of Wales circled our boat. It was wonderful to witness these huge mammals breaking the surface in ever decreasing circles around us. The problem was we couldn’t shake them off. They stayed with us until we turned the echo sounder off. Then when we turned it on again the Wales returned. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

National Rod Licence

To fish for coarse species in England and Wales you must have a National Rod Licence which you can buy from the Post Office either online or in person from an outlet. Licences run from 1 April for 12 months and you’ll need one every year, not just once! Alternatively an eight day licence can be purchased if you only plan on fishing on a holiday.

Fishing Permits

Tidal rivers like the Thames in London can be fished for free. For most other places you will need permission and a permit. Some venues allow you to buy a day ticket on the bank if a bailiff turns up. If not then you get away with it. Other venues require a day ticket to be bought in advance, often from a local tackle shop.

If you will be fishing regularly then you should consider joining an angling club. You can research these on Google or sites like Fishing Waters, which is my new website. My advice at first is to ask about all of the options in your local tackle shop. They will be able to tell you about your local venues, if there is any free fishing, and even sell you an annual permit.

Prices for angling clubs and associations vary dramatically so you should do a bit of research before buying a book. For less than £30 I can fish miles of rivers and drains for 12 months, while some venues will charge a tenner for a single day.

Thanks for the question and good luck with the lure fishing.

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All the best, Andy

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